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DIY Magnetic Key Holder

We desperately needed a better solution for our keys! 

A while ago I had made these adorable little house key holders.  I still love them, but with the hooks we started to hang anything but keys from them.  Then, after taking both sets of car keys to work with me and having countless full house scavenger hunts looking for keys I knew it was time for a change!  I wanted something without hooks and more minimalist.  So these magnetic key holders were born! 


  • Neodymium bar magnets
  • 1″ x 2″ Scrap Board
  • Paint or Stain
  • Glue
  • Wall Anchors
  • Edge Banding (Optional)
  • Screw Cover Caps (Optional)


  • Router or Table Saw
  • Paint Brush
  • Hot Glue Gun

Step One: Design

Decide on the length and number of key “hooks”.  I decided to there couldn’t be too many! I also planned for several different bars but this could be done on one straight bar.

My short bar is 4.5 inches long with one magnetic holder, the medium length bar is 9 inches long with two holders, and the long bar is 15 inches long with three holders.

Step Two: Cut Groove for Magnet

To cut the groove to place the magnets into I used my router with a 1/4” straight cut bit.  I ultimately cut the depth to 11/16 inch (my board is 3/4 inch thick).  However, it is best to slowly reach this depth lowering the cut bit about 1/8-1/4 inch each pass.  I cut at this depth to create the strongest hold between the magnet and the keys. 

Another way you could cut the grooves if you do not have a router would be to use a table saw.  Set the saw blade depth to 11/16 inch.  Run the 1 x 2 boards through to cut a groove through the middle. 

Tip: If you use a table saw to cut the grooves you will also want to use some edge banding to cover the groove on either side of the 1 x 2. 

Step Three: Add Edge Banding

This step is optional, however for me, I just wanted to create a finished edge look on the wood bars.

If you used a table saw to cut grooves, I would highly recommend this step as it will cover the grooves on either side of the 1 x 2s. 

To add the edge banding, simply set in place and use an iron to glue the banding into place.  Use a utility knife to cut off any excess and a screw driver to smooth over the edges. 

Step Four: Stain or Paint

I decided to stain my boards with Varathane Early American.  I wiped the stain on with a rag and then allowed it to dry a little and then wiped off any excess. 

You could also paint a pattern or even scene on your boards but I was worried that over time the key would wear off or mark up the paint. 

Step Five: Glue Magnets in Grooves

I stacked 4 of the bar magnets together, I wanted to create an extra strong hold so that the keys wouldn’t fall off when hanging.  Then I placed the stack into the grooves and used a hot glue gun to glue the magnets into place. I only glued on each end of the bar magnets. 

Step Six: Hang & Enjoy!

To hang the key holders, I drilled pilot holes through the far edges of each bar.  I then used wall anchors in the drywall and screwed through the bars and into the anchors.  Then, as an added touch I used screw cap covers to cover the screws. 

I love the way these have turned out and hopefully we will stop loosing (or misplacing) our keys!

Links to Create a Faux Wood Finish

DIY Magnetic Key Holder

Prep Time 1 hour
Build Time 3 hours
Dry Time 1 hour


  • Router
  • Straight Cut Router Bit
  • Paint Brush
  • Hot Glue Gun


  • 1” x 2” Pine Board
  • Neodymium Bar Magnet
  • Paint or Stain
  • Glue Sticks
  • Wall Anchors
  • Edge Banding
  • Screw Cover Caps


  • Design
  • Cut Groove for Magnet
  • Add Edge Banding
  • Stain or Paint
  • Glue Magnets in Grooves
  • Hang & Enjoy

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